Bill to reinstate state income tax introduced in Alaska House

Rep. Paul Seaton speaks during a legislative “Lunch and Learn”, Feb. 27, 2014. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

Rep. Paul Seaton (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

A pair of lawmakers in the Alaska House have filed legislation to reinstate an income tax.

Rep. Paul Seaton, a Homer Republican, and Rep. Bryce Edgmon, a Dillingham Democrat who caucuses with the majority, filed the bill on Friday, with just two weeks left in the session. The bill would tax Alaskans at 15 percent of their federal tax rate. At the very highest bracket, for those making over $400,000, the state income tax would amount to a six percent levy before deductions.

Alaska used to have an income tax, but it was abolished in 1980 because of an influx of oil revenue. Discussion of taxes have largely been avoided since, because they are politically unpopular. While the state currently faces a multi-billion-dollar budget deficit, the governor and the Legislature’s Republican leadership have said they do not plan to consider taxes this session.

Both Seaton and Edgmon are multi-term incumbents, who ran uncontested in the previous election.

The last time an income tax bill was introduced was 2005. It got one hearing before being shelved.

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